Have you ever felt you wanted your holiday to extend and keep going for some more time?
That is where I am now. The holiday was restful. There were some visits we made to people we knew from about 30 years back as college students. We visited with our girls and their friends. The visits to old friends made for happy and sad times- happy in terms of seeing them alive and sad in terms of knowing how different life is now than when we were young. Life seemed to stretch as a long belt in front of us. Thirty years down, we realize how frivolous and testy life is. Things change. What we expected to happen 30 years back did not happen at all and what we never expected to see have happened.
Many of our old professors are either living lives of retirement or semi-retirement. The present crop of students don’t know or have never heard of the “Terror of our times” – our Anatomy professor, who was nicknamed MaJa short for her first name and surname. To young 17 and 18 year olds, this venerable professor seemed ever lasting and always seemed to hover around the department wearing her white sari. White was considered the colour of Anatomy. Times have changed- Daughter 2 mentions how friendly she is with all the Anatomy tutors and how they socialize even outside classes- a thing unheard or un-thought of during our times. MaJa doesn’t hover around Anatomy any more – nor do any of her successors. Children of her successors are however teachers there and there has been change- positive change. Anatomy is not a subject of fear anymore.
I visited a couple of retired professors who lived a few kilometers off the campus and relived old days. The days were reminisced through my husband’s eyes’ rather than my own for my days in the college had been difficult and I cannot remember many pleasant days there. Anyway, my husband caught up with old memories and discussed the difficult but “good old days”.
Another person we visited was a classmate of my husbands’ and who also happen to provide daughter 2 with home cooked meals on days she wants a change from hostel food. His wife has just recovered from a difficult surgery for an advanced disease so we could revisit with her. I remember her as a senior about three years older to me and who was so full of energy and enthusiasm for any thing ” the alma mater”. Today she is a subdued, mature lady in her early fifties, with a smile that speaks of pain and gratitude. Seeing her has been a shock to me and a reminder of how short or how soon life can change for a person.
A long plane ride back in cramped seats and a day spent in bed, recovering from the short trip made for a happy ending.